Drawing, design training for people with disabilities

The Tiapapata Art Centre has begun its training programme focusing on drawing and design for members of the Persons with Physical Disabilities Association.

Held at the art centre starting this week, the programme has an intensive focus in arts and crafts and is a part of the activities in the week leading up to the International Day for Persons with Disabilities this Thursday, 3 December. 

According to a media statement released on Tuesday, the programme is being implemented by the Tiapapata Art Centre and is managed by Nuanua o le Alofa and the National Council for Persons with Disabilities in Samoa, and is funded under the Direct Aid Programme of the Australian Government.

Wendy Percival, who is the principal instructor of the art centre, said it is not the first time they have done this collaboration training and they’re pleased with the opportunity yet again.

Over the years, the Tiapapata Art Centre has conducted a number of art programmes with members of the disability community. The programme at the Art Centre is an example of how disabled persons can participate in cultural activities to learn new skills that can later be used to generate income.

One of the exercises was designed to train the artist to observe the subject’s features closely, which is a fundamental skill for all forms of artistic expression, stated the media statement.

The workshop began with design elements and principles, exploring the use of line, texture, shape, colour and value. At the end of the first day, participants were able to print their first works using Styrofoam printing plates.

They also did an interesting exercise titled “blind contour drawing” in which the artist draws what he or she observes by looking only at the subject and never at the drawing (until it is finished).

For this exercise it is the hand that is “blind” for it attempts to draw the contour of what the eye sees, but cannot directly make the connection by looking at the drawing as it progresses.

Organisers of the workshop will be looking to potential outlets where some of the artistic products may be marketed and sold.

The theme for this year’s International Day for Persons with Disabilities is “Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World.”

“One of the aims of the workshop is for participants to learn how to create a marketing and distribution plan that can lead to income generation for the members and the association,” stated Galumalemana Steven Percival.

“Creating innovative products is also an important consideration.”

Matua Masaga, President of Persons with Physical Disabilities Association of Samoa, is especially pleased with the new skills in drawing and design that the participants have learned so far and to observe the latent capacity that has been revealed at the workshop.

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